New $1.1M storage facility nears completion
Work is almost complete on a new Whangarei storage facility that will house a wide array of technical equipment used to support an increasingly busy Northland Regional Council.
Council chairman Bill Shepherd says work on the $1.1M Union East St facility – in the city’s wider Port Rd industrial area – began in earnest in October last year and is scheduled for a mid-February handover date; on time and within budget.
Chairman Shepherd says the council’s equipment is currently scattered over several sites, including its Water St head office, a leased Robert St property and a rented storage facility, also in the industrial area.
Its new 2167 square metre, fully-fenced Union East St site is designed to bring the bulk of that equipment together in a single location.
The council spent $600,000 from a property fund to acquire the site (and an existing building with a 200 sq m footprint) in November 2016 and the existing building is already being used to store maritime equipment, including two boats.
Another $500,000 has been budgeted for a larger, new building and associated site redevelopment. That work – by Whangarei-based Arco Construction – involves construction of an additional 400 sq m storage facility, divided into eight bays.
Chairman Shepherd says the council had ‘made do’ with a variety of leased storage around Whangarei for more than a decade, but in recent years a substantial boost in field work – and associated equipment – had rendered those facilities increasingly inadequate.
“Among the many items we now need to store are extra boats, vessel quarantine facilities, oil spill equipment, bikes, trailers, kayaks, monitoring buoys, furniture, traps, poisons, events equipment, Civil Defence emergency gear, hydrology, air quality and farm dairy effluent equipment and various tools.”
Chairman Shepherd says the new site is easily accessible to Port Rd and Marsden Cove boat ramps as well as State Highways 1 and 14 and should meet the council’s storage requirements well into the future.
“While initially it’s not cheap to develop a facility like this, it’s very important to ensure our essential equipment is stored safely and securely in one central, easily-accessible site.”
He says with the bulk of the council’s 180-plus staff based in its Whangarei head office, the development of a centrally located facility in Union East St made sense both economically and practically.